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Barn Stars

Updated on February 2, 2013

I always have “what the heck?” moments. And I’m pretty sure while I’m on this earth I will continue to have many more. Since I’ve lived in KY I couldn’t help but notice on road trips the obviously large stars that would adorn the side of barns and homes aligning the countryside. I’ve always had my “what the heck” moments every time my friends and I would see one. And even my friends that have been born and raised here in KY, had no clue of the meaning of them either. The funny thing is, they have asked me knowing I’m from Texas, thinking I knew about them. In the end, we both end up letting one another down. So I thought I’d try to research it.


Turns out they are simply called Barn Stars. They are German in origin; they were mainly popular within the farming communities. They date all the way back to the 1700’s. Back in those days the stars were used to signify the builder of the edifice that they were seen on. Some time later they became used for decoration used by the Amish and the Mennonites. Though they are now seen hanging up on the sides of barns they didn't used to be. In the beginning, these stars were built into the barn itself.These decorative stars also started out as 3 or 4-pointed stars but later became 5 pointed. They eventually made their way to the U.S. during the 18th century and hung around (pun intended) until the 1870’s in Pennsylvania. Soon after the Civil War they became very well liked. At that time, they could be seen on large buildings, especially on factories in Richmond,VA.

Where to Find Them

Different materials were used to construct these stars such as roofing tiles, wood or metal. Steel stars are often created unfinished to allow for a rusting effect. Barn stars can be found in any shape, color or size. One can now find these 5 pointed decorations on garages, above fireplaces, on fronts of homes and of course on plenty of barns. They can range anywhere from 2 inches up to 53 inches or more. Nowadays anyone can use these stars for whatever reason that they have. Whether it be for promoting good fortune or luck, today it’s completely a personal choice to hang one anywhere you’d like. Many of these stars can be found online on sites such as Jollie Primitives, Terry's Village, Wayfair and primitive-type stores.

Star Studded Significance

Today, the significance of the stars themselves is really meaningless but continues to be thought of as a symbol for luck. But the colors for these past, now present-day, barn adornments had/have different meanings for each:

Black: Used for protection and for blending the elements together.

Blue: Used for protection, peace, calmness and spirituality.

Brown: Used to represent mother earth, friendship and strength.

Green: Used for growth, fertility, success in things and ideas that grow.

Orange: Used to encourage an abundance in career, projects and matters that need an extra nudge to get rolling.

Red: Used for emotion, passion, charisma, lust and creativity.

Violet: Used for things that are cherished.

White: Used for purity, energies of the moon and allows energy to flow freely.

Yellow: Used for health of body and mind, love of man and the sun and a connection to God.


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    • NiaG profile image

      NiaG 6 years ago from Louisville, KY

      I know Rosie! I thought it was interesting. Thanks for dropping in a comment. Have a great day!

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 6 years ago from Virginia

      I had no idea there was so much historical background - I thought these stars were just the new trend. I've seen them at Kirkland's mixed in with the other décor. Well written article- I enjoyed it!

    • NiaG profile image

      NiaG 6 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Thanks kmaskreations! I saw some pictures with them decorated in bedrooms and when done right, they really look nice. Thanks for dropping in a comment! Have an awesome day!

    • kmaskreations profile image

      kmaskreations 6 years ago

      Great Hub NiaG! I love to see how people use their imagination when decorating with these stars. An old barn can become a work of art. Thanks for the info

    • NiaG profile image

      NiaG 6 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Thanks guys! During looking up info on these, I saw stars that were Texas related but they all seemed to be encircled with a twisted rope. So I don't believe those date back that far but I'm not sure. Thanks for stopping by to see me!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      I see these stars frequently in my area, thanks for this historical background, good article.